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Buffalowed Bill

Survivor car

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Much has been written about the importance of vetting and maintaining original survivor cars. Throughout the 90's I began to see the shocking trend of street rodding and restoring beautiful cars, which to my eyes needed nothing.

 

In my collection I have a number of all original survivors. What become obvious, early on, was that at a car show, no matter how good they looked, they were being overlooked by the casual show goer. Even though the original paint was still as factory applied, and still shined, and the interiors were near perfect, as came from the factory, they would never look as good as a restored car. My days of having my cars judged are mostly behind me. For myself I don't care, but I thought that the cars deserved better then what they were getting. I mitigated this a bit by including the car's story when I displayed them. The response has been very gratifying. Real car people get it, all they need is to understand that they are looking at an original car, not just a poorly done restoration, from thirty years ago. I also think that more car shows should provide a place where cars of this kind, can be displayed together, and where they can be appreciated for what they are.

 

I believe that the people with their original survivors, would benefit from a dedicated portion of the AACA form where they could post pictures and tell their stories. I think it might help to give these cars and their owners their place in the sun. What say you?-Bill

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The days of those being ignored are well over from what I have been seeing in the last several years. My Model A was badly repainted with a brush sometime in the 50’s  and had a new top & curtains but was usually one of the most looked at cars wherever I took it. Now I am toying with an original Pierce Arrow and although it hasn’t been to a show yet it’s still gathers a crowd wherever I stop. I spent a half hour getting gas last time I drove it, and there were a handful of selfies taken in front of it when we stopped for a picnic...

 

With the HPOF class in the AACA I am surprised there’s not a dedicated message board, but also realize that all the 1994 winter beaters up north also fall into this category....

 

 

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A friend wanted to enter his 29 model A in the Ford Dearborn 100 year anniversary in 2003.
The entry form said room is limited please don't be disappointed.
I will enter, give me the form, I wrote original, unrestored, shows wear (and lots of it).
I received a letter, accepted,
There were fifty model A's, two rows back to back, three original cars, 47 cars in showroom condition.
Everyone walked past the showroom cars and stopped, look at this, the beverly hills fan club, lots of fun.

 

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Edited by 1950panhead (see edit history)
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My '40 Packard 110 coupe was given a very amateur paint job many years ago,but is otherwise original,with 44000 miles on it. It gets at least as much attention at shows as restored cars. Restoring it would cost far more than it's worth anyway, and I'm happy to just keep it in good running order. 

I have to agree with Mark Wetherbee about a designated HPOF class. My '92 Park Avenue would qualify. I still can't get used to the idea of 1990's cars being "antiques". Showing my age,I guess.

Jim

Restoring Packard wheels 003.JPG

1992 Buick Park Avenue.jpg

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A 20 yr old person will be interested in a car that’s older than they are.  I agree it’s difficult to call them antique but you have to see it in the right perspective of the viewer.

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30 minutes ago, TerryB said:

A 20 yr old person will be interested in a car that’s older than they are.  I agree it’s difficult to call them antique but you have to see it in the right perspective of the viewer.

Those over 50 remember when US cars changed their body styles every three to four year cycles on average, where a 12 year old car would appear 'ancient'.  Today, it is no longer cost effective to do so, and we are now seeing runs of ten or more year body change cycles, making a 25 year old car still look contemporary.  And add to that, much better paint that stands up against the elements and UV far better than in the past.

 

Craig

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I’m not trying to bash newer antique cars, just pointing out the reality of a survivor car forum.

 

I’m on the younger side of the crowd that really loves pre-war cars and prefers cars made before 1935 when things start getting really streamlined, but I also remember seeing an AMC Pacer at Hershey for the first time and wondering why anyone would want to still drive a fishbowl... it takes all kinds. 

 

It took that guy just as much, if not more, love and work to restore that Pacer as most any 20’s car would have. Now that is something I can appreciate even if I never cared for the car itself.

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I think one of the biggest misconceptions in the hobby is that original cars have to look worn. Some folks take excellent care of their cars and they look almost new. Here are a few examples of original cars. They are original paint, chrome and interiors, engine bays and trunks: 

51pac3.jpg

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41cad3.jpg

55cad10.jpg

55cadd3.jpg

83olds3.jpg

47cr5.jpg

59cad7.jpg

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TerryB has stated this well. A 25 year old car is not an antique to me , it may be interesting but by my own definition "old" doesn't necessarily meant antique .

When I first got into the hobby in the mid 1960s a friend here on long island Gates Willard found and acquired a mint 1935 Packard Standard 8 conv coupe, came off the estate of the original owner. Still had the original tires on it. Well equipped from new with accessories( metal tire covers, side mounts, etc) the original black paint was excellent, but in order to enter a show (AACA or CCCA) to win a 1st place award - ie trophy he had the car repainted in the same color. None of his friends ( me included) thought this was the thing to do but it was the attitude back then - you had a car, entered it in a show to see if you could get top prize. How many cars in that era had to go through that faze and fate to be recognized?  It is why now 50 years later I still never have my cars judged  for any awards.

Today original vehicles are admired and for the most part preserved., but there will always be a debate if a car was repainted 40-50 years ago or even more recently is it still "original" or ?  Preservation classes are necessary indeed, but at what point is a car considered restored or preserved if it has been repainted 50 or 30 or 20 or ?? years ago, or had other work done to it cosmetically . Some things have to be done - separating safety glass that has become so foggy you can't see out of it, plating so weak that it is starting to rust and destroy the metal beneath,  dried out tires replaced, upholstery torn to the point if you sat on it you may be impaled by a spring etc. There will always  be a line drawn when and what to do, all this usually done by the owner for what ever purpose he wants to have his car for  - recognition on how perfect it is, recognition for what it is the way he found it. etc. Everything needs a bit of restoration to preserve it for future generations but to what extent ?

Edited by Walt G
spell check for one word (see edit history)

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This 1913 American Lafrance Type 10 is completely original, right down to the lower radiator hose which will leak for awhile each spring when we fill the cooling system.  It seems like some kind of rubber coated canvas and will stop leaking after awhile when it swells up.  Tires are original foam filled.  We believe it to be the oldest surviving unrestored fire truck in operable condition.  If anyone knows of one that’s older I would enjoy hearing about it.

F473027B-E213-4A7B-AE5B-550C6BEC3C82.jpeg

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Here is my Survivor Car.  1937 Ford De Luxe Fordor.  This car was in storage from the early 1960s until I purchased it in 2012.  

 

Here is a photo of what it looked like when I purchased it and what it looked like after I fixed it up and cleaned it up.  

 

 

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16804354_1319037811465084_4389422412240883914_o.jpg

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This is our 1919 Plymouth. Originally two sheds of brown it was given a quickie repaint in the mid 1950s. The radiator shell and bumpers were re-chromed in the 1980s before we got it. One owner until 1979. It now has 80,000 miles on it and is getting near due for en engine overhaul. Most of the important stuff has been replaced; brakes, king pins, rear axles bearings etc. The interior is all original. photo from a local show a few months ago. It will get a run on a back country rally in June.

29 Rolleston 251118.jpg

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13 hours ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

Much has been written about the importance of vetting and maintaining original survivor cars. Throughout the 90's I began to see the shocking trend of street rodding and restoring beautiful cars, which to my eyes needed nothing.

 

In my collection I have a number of all original survivors. What become obvious, early on, was that at a car show, no matter how good they looked, they were being overlooked by the casual show goer. Even though the original paint was still as factory applied, and still shined, and the interiors were near perfect, as came from the factory, they would never look as good as a restored car. My days of having my cars judged are mostly behind me. For myself I don't care, but I thought that the cars deserved better then what they were getting. I mitigated this a bit by including the car's story when I displayed them. The response has been very gratifying. Real car people get it, all they need is to understand that they are looking at an original car, not just a poorly done restoration, from thirty years ago. I also think that more car shows should provide a place where cars of this kind, can be displayed together, and where they can be appreciated for what they are.

 

I believe that the people with their original survivors, would benefit from a dedicated portion of the AACA form where they could post pictures and tell their stories. I think it might help to give these cars and their owners their place in the sun. What say you?-Bill

My survivor car is a 1929 Franklin. Ive done plenty to it mechanically but just polished and maintained the outside. I have the remains of the Duco paint from 1958 Tacoma Cream.

 

29 roadster.png

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My 38 Stidebaker was in a barn for 42 years. We done the mechanical restoration so it runs well, stops as it should and has original paint and had the original interior. I was asked to put it in a “unrestored original” class at a show but I was hesitant as I had been to the show a few times. 

I went to the show in my car and checked out the so call group of unrestored original  cars. If they were original I’m twenty years old playing college football again. There is a big difference between what some call original and what is actually original in the car show world. That’s ok as I don’t do car shows I drive mine as a daily driver. 

The best part of that show was when I went to leave it took about an hour. There were more people looking at my driver than the “original” class card and they all wanted the story on where it came from. I finally had to say I had to get going as my wife was waiting to go out. 

Enjoy the cars the way you want and don’t worry what others think if it doesn’t look show room ready! 

Have fun

Dave S 

 

ps I’m 72 and so busted up from playing ball it’s a joke. I can only dream about being twenty but what dreams and memories!

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Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Pomeroy41144 said:

Here is my Survivor Car.  1937 Ford De Luxe Fordor.  This car was in storage from the early 1960s until I purchased it in 2012.  

 

Here is a photo of what it looked like when I purchased it and what it looked like after I fixed it up and cleaned it up.  

 

 

16730492_973173862818451_2249761145101133501_n.jpg

16804354_1319037811465084_4389422412240883914_o.jpg

Is it a 60 hp or 85?? Either way Great looking car . Always loved the 37 style.

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Here is a dead original 1929 Ford I am going to sell in the spring. Its original Brewster Green paint, original interior and all lights , wiper, even popout switch with Hurd keys. The last plate was 1952 in NY.

1929 model a 3.JPG

1929 model a door.JPG

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Here is a 1912 T that was still in the original family from new and is rust free and good wood. It was originally in Manitoba then in BC the last 8 years before I bought it. This one was built in Canada and still has the extremely rare top manufactures tag on it. The top material has been changed plus the seat cushions and looks as though some paint as done very roughly at some point. I might even leave the trailer hitch on the rear axle. All I plan to do is rebuild the drive line and change the fire wall as it is falling apart. Planning to take it on the AACA National Vintage tour this summer in Kingston.

1912 t 017.JPG

1912 t 022.JPG

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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It is sure easy to tell a Canadian Ford as it has an operating left front door.  I can't te on the rad, under neath the Ford script?ll from your picture, does it still have the Made in Canada

Beautiful old Ford.

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12 hours ago, mikewest said:

Is it a 60 hp or 85?? Either way Great looking car . Always loved the 37 style.

It is an 85hp.  

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I, too, have seen interest in original, or mostly original cars rise in the past 15 years or so.

I think this is a good thing as it is always nice to see examples that have been lovingly cared for decades and decades later.

 

My survivor is a 1929 Pierce Arrow Model 143 Enclosed Drive Limousine.

As far as we know, it wears original paint and interior except for the driver's seat which was redone in *cough* vinyl some time in the late 50's.

The motor has never been out of it and it and the car has only been maintained mechanically to keep it in safe working order.

The car was originally purchased by a Doctor in Pasadena, Ca and he owned it until his death in the early 60's. Someone purchased the car cheap from his estate, cleaned it up and just wanted to flip it.

My grandfather purchased the car from that gentleman and the car has been in the family ever since, just maintained and cared for over the past 50+ years.

IMG_0210.JPG

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I’d love to see more pictures of your Pierce Arrow... She is a real beauty! 

 

My my plan is to do the same preservation work and drive it as much as possible. Are you a member of the Pierce Arrow Society? If so look in the members forum about adding a new filter element into the original air horn unit, I think it may be similar to the 31 and it’s an easy retrofit.

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Working on my brakes still, should be completely done tomorrow and I’m hoping it doesn’t rain Saturday so I can get to the AACA Cape Fear Chapter show this weekend in Wilmington NC...

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